To a vehicle owner, having a GPS tracker while on long distance travels is important. GPS units are becoming a staple, and people are using them every day without even realizing their presence. However, the GPS designed for hiking and automotive owners are different with those intended for commercial vehicles. Trucks have navigational issues and requirements that normal automotive GPS trackers cannot cater for. Granted, as a trucker, you need to carefully choose the best GPS for truckers.
With GPS units becoming so popular and many brands coming up, you may find it challenging to choose the best. This article guides you through the shopping process. But first, the top GPS units for truckers.
Best GPS for Truckers 2017
- Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator
- Garmin dēzl 770LMTHD 7-Inch GPS Navigator
- Rand McNally 528013076 Intelliroute 8″ TND Tablet with Built-in Dash Cam
- Rand McNally TND530 Truck GPS with Lifetime Maps and Wi-Fi
- Rand McNally TND730 IntelliRoute GPS Truck Navigator
- TomTom VIA 1535TM 5-Inch Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and Voice Recognition
- Garmin 5″ GPS Navigator for Trucks & Long Haul 580LMT-S Bluetooth Voice Activated Live Traffic North America Lifetime Maps Bundle with Hard EVA 7″ Case & Microfiber Cloth
- Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator
- Garmin DezlCam LMTHD 6-Inch Truck Navigator
- Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 525 Truck GPS
Best GPS for Truckers Comparison Table
|Model||Preloaded Maps||Display Size||Battery Life||Road Warnings||Directory of RV Parks and Services||Voice - Activated Navigation||Features|
|Garmin RV 760LMT||USA, CAN, MEX||7"||up to 1.5 hour||yes||yes||yes||Active Lane Guidance, Lifetime Maps, Lifetime Traffic, Custom RV Routing|
|Garmin dēzl 770LMTHD||USA, CAN, MEX||7"||up to 1 hour||yes||yes||n/a||HD Digital Traffic, Lifetime Maps, Custom Truck Routing, HOS and IFTA Tracking, Bluetooth Headset Compatible, Truck Speed Limit|
|Rand McNally 528013076||Street / topographical / tourist, City Tour, north-america||8"||2 Hours||yes||yes||yes||Lifetime Traffic Updates, Weather Alerts|
|Rand McNally TND530||Street, City Tour, north-america||5"||1 hour||yes||yes||n/a||Address Book, Custom POIs, Digital Camera, Lane Assist, Lifetime Map Updates, Weather Alerts|
|Rand McNally TND730||United States, Canada||7"||2 Hours||yes||yes||yes||Lifetime Map Updates, Weather Alerts|
|TomTom VIA 1535TM||USA, CAN, MEX||5"||3 Hours||yes||yes||yes||Bluetooth Ready, Lane Assist, Lifetime Map Updates, Lifetime Traffic Updates|
|Garmin dezl 570LMT-S||Street, City Tour, north-america||5"||1 hour||yes||yes||yes||Free lifetime maps, Custom truck routing|
|Garmin Nuvi 57LM||North America||5"||2 Hours||yes||yes||n/a||Lifetime Map Updates|
|Garmin DezlCam LMTHD 6-Inch Truck Navigator||North America||6"||1 Hours||yes||yes||yes||Includes lifetime maps and traffic, Active Lane Guidance|
|Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 525||USA||5"||2 Hours||yes||yes||yes||Truck - Specific Routing, Advanced Lane Guidance, Mile Markers|
Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS – Best All-Round GPS Tracker
The Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS is designed with a large 7-inch display with a high resolution touch display. The 800 x 480 pixels offers great visibility even during broad daylight. This is enhanced by WVGA TFT colored display with white backlight. It is offered with about 20,000 RV Parks and service centers in the US, making it ideal for truckers. Even better, with the purchase, you are guaranteed of lifetime traffic and maps update. You can easily access service even in the middle of nowhere thanks to RV-specific service locations, tow facilities and much more.
This unit is recommended for all truckers. It is a light unit that shows you and even speaks the directions. With the Smartphone Link, you can receive your phone call through the wide screen of this GPS unit.
Garmin dēzl 770LMTHD Truck Navigator – Best GPS Tracker for the Money
This is a GPS unit that was specifically designed for trucks. It is, therefore, fitted with features that enable you as a trucker, get warnings on bridge heights, widths, lengths and even the weight of your cargo. Like the Garmin RV 760LMT reviewed above, this unit comes with RV directors including service shops, hotels, parks and other amenities that may interest truckers.
This unit is compatible with Garmin BC30 backup camera for reverse assistance. It is recommended for truckers who are looking for a truck specific GPS unit.
Rand McNally 528013076 Intelliroute 8″ TND Tablet with Built-in Dash Cam – GPS Navigation for Truckers
This is a high end trucking GPS unit offered from Rand McNally/. It features a high resolution 8-inch touch display with white backlight. This makes it suitable for use in bright light. You are offered traffic and maps updates for a lifetime. These updates are fast, giving you access to routes, warnings, closed roads and other details. It is offered with custom truck routing reminiscent of Garmin GPS units. This lets you customize routes based on specifications of your truck and stay free of hazardous substances.
This unit is recommended for those who need a feature-packed GPS unit for long distance travels.
Rand McNally TND530 Truck GPS with Lifetime Maps and Wi-Fi – Best GPS for Truck Management
If you want to get routes and still keep things in check with your truck, this is a viable option. It does more than give directions. First off, it will show current weather and forecasts collected from 10 map overlays. It will show precipitation and speed of wind, helping you plan your travels. It will show you the price of fuel; simply search the fuel brand and type. From the Rand McNally directory, you get access to local businesses, restaurants and service centers among others.
This is a unit specially designed for truckers. It allows you to navigate routes based on the profile of your truck. Input details such as type of truck, weight and physical restrictions to get the most suitable route. The unit comes with pre-loaded detailed maps of the US and Canada. As you drive, the unit will shout street names, so you can remember them and you can make perfect turns.
This unit sports a 4.3-inch display with high resolution. It is offered at a relatively low price, but with great features.
This is another unit designed for truckers. It is designed with truck routing support, letting you access routes, restricted roads and routes, and suitable roads for your vehicles specifications. It is a 5-inch unit with a high resolution and display, for ease of use during the day. It supports commercial class eight rating. making it ideal for all types of trucks.
This unit is recommended for truckers who need a relatively smaller unit for use while on long distance travels.
Garmin dezl 570LMT-S 5-Inch Portable Dash Mount Bundle – Best 5-Inch GPS for Truckers
The Garmin dezl 570LMT is a GPS unit in Garmin’s Lifetime Maps and Traffic (LMT) series. It is designed to meet the needs of the everyday trucker as reflective on the features bundle. It sports a 5-Inch high resolution display. Though the display is smaller than most of the common 7-inch display on Garmin’s GPS units, the high resolution allows use even in bright light.
The unit is offered with on-board trip planner, which lets you designate stops and other activities on the road. Route shaping lets you change routes with a single touch.
If you are looking for a budget unit, the Refurbished Garmin Nuvi 57LM might be a good choice. It is offered with one-year warranty to guarantee you great functionality. According to the manufacturer, the unit has been tested and certified to function like a new unit. It comes with all standard features you can expect with Garmin GPS unit. These include services directory for trucks and trailers. Search for truck stops, food places, service centers, parking, tow services and much more.
This unit is recommended for the everyday user. It updates traffic and maps fast, allowing you to access routes, road restrictions and warnings on a daily basis.
Garmin DezlCam LMTHD 6-Inch Truck Navigator – Best Truck Navigator
This is a refurbished GPS unit that has been tested and certified to operate like a new unit. It is offered with original accessories to mirror the new version dezl 760LMT. It comes with a 1-year warranty. The high resolution 7-inch display ensures that you can see directions clearly during the day. This is enhanced by white backlight. Like other GPS units in the LMT series, this unit is offered with Lifetime Maps and Traffic.
It supports specialized truck routing where a route is chosen for you based on the profile of your truck. The unit records your trucks mileage and fuel use among other metrics to help you increase productivity. Like other Garmin devices, you have access to service directories and points of interest. The unit shouts street names from the high quality loudspeaker. You will enjoy Garmin’s Active Lane Guidance, showing you which lane you should be on while driving.
This unit comes with great features such as Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, truck warnings and specialized routing, making it a recommendable unit.
Rand McNally TND 525 IntelliRoute Truck GPS – Best GPS for Tracking Truck Performance
The Rand McNally TND 525 is offered with a new look, new hardware, a great horde of interface options and better maps. It is designed to guide a trucker step by step through daily travels. The TND 525 comes with Advanced Lane Guidance where you get heads up on curves, steep hills or complicated intersections. This 5-inch device allows you to compare routes and toll costs.
This device gives you access to service directories and other highly needed amenities within the route. It is recommended if you need a budget unit that still has all great GPS features.
Best GPS for Truckers – Buyer’s Guide
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As a trucker, you will need a GPS tracker to stay out of traffic tie-ups and stay on the right truck to make deliveries on time. With a truck GPS installed, chances of getting lost, or choosing a time consuming route, are low. Ultimately, you will drive with more confidence even when in a new route. If you are a trucker who has ever had trouble on the road because you did not have a GPS Navigator, you might be shopping for one. You may also be having a GPS tracker that is not reliable and you need a replacement.
Most of truck GPS units are easy to install. With this unit, you stay safe, save time, become efficient, track the performance of your truck, and have peace of mind.
Features to Look for When Shopping for a Trucking GPS Unit
The most popular GPS units on the market are Fleematics, Rand MacNally and Google mapping systems. These systems offer a map of streets, routes and roads, with some allowing the user to zoom in on a route or street. These mapping systems offer verbal turn by turn directions and street names. If a driver misses a turn, the system will offer re-routing.
These systems help you plan for your journey by calculating the distance, the fuel costs and other aspects of the journey. You can plan stops, and choose preferred routes based on the profile of your truck. While most of these features are mainstream, there are some features available in select models.
Maps and Traffic Updates
One of the great features that you can get with a GPS unit is traffic alert. This keeps you up to date with what is happening on the roads, letting you avoid busy roads. Some systems, mostly GPS units by Garmin, are offered with lifetime maps and traffic updates without any subscription. You will only need to have internet connection to update your unit. However, others will need you to subscribe to a plan to access updates. In the long run, the latter becomes more expensive.
However, the initial purchase of devices that require a subscription saves you money. Your budget will dictate the device you choose.
Driver Assist Features
In almost all units, you will access service directories and truckers’ points of interest including hotels, restaurants and parking. However, some devices are missing some addresses or may not record addresses for later use. These addresses are for specific locations. Some come with detailed maps and directories for the US, some for North America and some for different countries. Choose one that will meet your traveling needs.
You can use these units with a backup camera to assist you when reversing. Here, you will need a large screen to see everything behind you.
Truck Performance Tracking
Some devices, especially Rand McNally devices, are designed to track truck performance data including mileage, distance traveled, fuel consumed and much more. They also track drive information including hours of service, hours of sleep, off-duty, meal breaks and much more. This data can be used to improve the performance of your truck.
The metrics collected can help you plan your journey in a manner that you will save fuel and use less mileage during successive journeys. The unit will also monitor the maintenance need of the truck, alerting you when maintenance is needed.
This comes handy for managers who need to the start, stops, ETA and other details with their fleets. The details collected from a GPS unit can be used to notify clients of deliveries and pickup times. A manager will monitor driver performance.
Nowadays, most units are offered with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in speakers, allowing you to make hands-free calls. Bluetooth also allows you to connect to backup cameras, mobile devices and DVD players among others. All devices allow connection to Wi-Fi from where you can update maps and traffic details.
A GPS unit is like a tablet, it is easily portable. Most drivers will prefer a device that does not install permanently on the dashboard so as to use it on different vehicles. Most devices install easily with a suction cup. This means you can detach them easily for other uses. Some devices are offered with feedback community where individual drivers can enter updates on roads not reflected by the tracker.
Before you buy a GPS unit, it is advisable that you spend time to research. With advances in technology, the systems are offering fast downloads and fast navigation. This means it will alert you even when turns are close to each other. There are different available models each designed for a specific use and with a specific set of features and price. The best GPS unit should meet your needs. First, it should have maps of the country you travel to or in most.
Most importantly, the GPS you buy should last long enough to offer you value for money.